This is the first blog post under my revised portfolio website. I wanted to talk a bit about my working process and show some examples. This post shows you the preliminary steps for my current painting in progress, I Robot: Reason. I will be adding the final image once the painting is done.
First there are the thumbnails. Many, many thumbnails.
I usually do a lot of sketching at this point. This is where I do most of my thinking. I try to get a lot of ideas down to work out the best image for the story. From here I will pick out my favorites and start cleaning up the sketch and figuring out the image details.
I started the final pencil drawings for this illustration several times. The drawing just wasn't coming out the way I envisioned it so I started over a few times.
At one point, the sketching was going so poorly that I decided to take a step back. I felt I needed to take some reference photos to help me get the right pose for the main figure. Spiderman was happy to help me out here. I posed Spidey and took a bunch of photos to work from. The final sketch worked out to my satisfaction after having the reference shots.
Once I have the final sketch drawn out I will typically scan this in and do some studies digitally. I have gotten into the habit of creating a comprehensive value study. This way I know exactly where I want all the light and darks to go. I usually will also do a color study in Photoshop. Working digitally allows me to try different color schemes very quickly.
This shows you my pre-painting process. Once I'm comfortable with the up-front work, I will transfer the drawing to canvas and start painting the illustration in oils. I will continue to show this process in a new post where I will show in progress images of the painting.